Do you watch the annual Thanksgiving parade? Have you ever wondered who came up with the idea of putting gigantic balloons on display? Then you definitely need to check out Balloons Over Broadway by Melissa Sweet. This picture book biography tells the true story of the puppeteer behind the Macy’s parade, Tony Sarg. I want to share some activities you can use while reading this book.
About Balloons Over Broadway
Balloons Over Broadway is the story of puppeteer Tony Sarg, who was the mastermind behind creating the balloons that star in the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. If you don’t have a copy in your classroom or school library, you can find this story on Amazon. Just click on the cover below to learn more.
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balloons over broadway craft and writing activities
Tony Sarg created some amazing balloons for the Macy’s parade. I thought it would be fun to allow students to pretend they are at the parade watching the balloons high in the sky. I put together some craft templates to create some balloon-watching kids. Students can select one of the writing ideas I have included or choose their own writing prompt. Here is an example of what your students can create.
I have also included a page where students can design and describe a new balloon for the parade. There are two options for these designs. One has a very large picture space and a few writing lines. This would be great for younger students. The second has the drawing and writing space more evenly split. This provides more room for students who can provide a more detailed description of their drawings.
balloons over broadway comprehension and vocabulary activities
Along with the craft and writing activity, this book companion also includes some comprehension and vocabulary activities. There are 8 comprehension questions to help guide your discussion with students. You will also find an option for students to respond to these comprehension questions in written form.
Since this is a picture book biography about Tony Sarg, I have included two nonfiction graphic organizers. One allows students to share three interesting facts, two questions they still have, and their opinion about parades. The second option is more of a newspaper book review. This allows students to share three interesting facts, two vocabulary words, a drawing, and a book rating.
I have also selected 12 vocabulary words from the text and placed these words onto vocabulary cards. As you read the story, you can use the context clues and help students determine the meaning of each word. I have also included a vocabulary match-up page to check for understanding of the new terms.
You can find all of these activities in my Balloons Over Broadway book companion.